Latest Tiger Woods offering above par

Like all EA’s sports updates, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is more about tweaks than major new features.

However, when these are largely for the better you can’t really complain.

Featuring 16 impeccably drawn courses with four levels of difficulty, the big question is whether there’s enough to justify buying it if you already own TW9. You start by defining your player, which can be customised to look more like your own face by uploading digital photos before playing a few holes to determine starting abilities. After this, it’s a matter of playing and beating the Artificial Intelligence opponents to improve your attributes, something you’ll certainly need as you approach bigger tournaments and better players.

So what of the innovations? Well, there’s much more realistic and changeable weather conditions, which can have a dramatic effect when a rainstorm begins in the middle of play. Another change is the addition of a precision putting system; probably best demonstrated with a Wii MotionPlus but still noticeable on the 360. The main difference is that instead of having several putters you now get just the one, with a helpful preview function to help determine the strength of your swing. On other strokes it’s the same as in previous games, with the left stick controlling swing and the right one handling loft. As you ramp up the difficulty level, precise timing and motion is required to avoid hooking or slicing the shot and you can no longer add spin to the ball or benefit from the putting preview.

Multiplayers should enjoy Live Tournament mode, where you can compete against other gamers or real scores set by pros in designated weekly tournaments. It’s a nice touch that paves the way for testing your skills against your heroes in a whole range of sports in future.

For single players, there’s a career mode that goes through the full PGA Tour, including the US Open, plus a challenge mode that lets you replay famous matches albeit mainly from US golfing history. And speaking of which, there’s the commentaries, which are both poorly scripted and implemented in a way that often misrepresents what’s happening on the leaderboard or in the match itself.

Despite this, Tiger Woods 10 looks great and plays both realistic golf and the occasional arcade-style mini-game. Fans of the sport should be at it for weeks. —

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Mike Anderiesz
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